Guide to cross compliance in England: 2016

SMR 5: Restrictions on the use of substances having hormonal or thyrostatic action and beta-agonists in farm animals

It is illegal to use substances that have a hormonal or thyrostatic action and beta-agonists for growth promotion in stock farming. Some substances can be used for authorised therapeutic purposes only, but these must be administered to a clearly identified animal only by a veterinarian, who must record details of the treatment in a register/record book.

What you must do

Other than the therapeutic exemptions allowed (for the use of veterinary medicines containing testosterone, progesterone, allyl trenbolone and beta-agonists, and having oestrogenic, androgenic or gestagenic action), you must not use these restricted substances:

  • thyrostatic substances
  • stilbenes, stilbene derivatives, their salts and esters
  • oestradiol 17ß and its ester-like derivatives
  • substances having oestrogenic, androgenic or gestogenic action, and beta-agonists.

You must not:

  • give food-producing animals restricted substances
  • have on your farm, place on the market or send to slaughter for human consumption any animal that has been given any restricted substance
  • place on the market meat or any other animal product from an animal that has been given any restricted substance
  • have substances on your farm containing beta-agonists to induce tocolysis in cows when calving (for example, clenbuterol hydrochloride).

You must:

  • comply with the correct withdrawal periods if your food-producing animals have been given any of the restricted substances in line with the permitted exceptions. Your veterinary surgeon can advise on the withdrawal periods for prescribed veterinary medicines
  • make veterinary medical records about restricted substances you’ve used available to inspectors when asked for them.

More information

The Product Information Database is on the Veterinary Medicines Directorate website at It contains the most up to date information on medicines authorised for use in farm animals in the UK. The database includes any withdrawal periods.


Veterinary Medicines Directorate: 01932 336911